A Resilient World Starts with Resilient Data
In an article in Elementa–Science of the Anthropocene, Dr Dawn Wright states how “digital tools can help make communities resilient by providing data, evidence-based advice on community decisions”. However, “the resilience of the tools themselves can also be an issue.” For Dr. Wright, “digital resilience means that to the greatest extent possible, data and tools should be freely accessible, interchangeable, operational, of high quality, and up-to-date so that they can help give rise to the resilience of communities or other entities using them.” She cites Pitroda (2013), who predicts that the future of democratic governance lays not only in the pillars of the executive, legislative and judicial, but also in a fourth pillar of information.
In another article, in Ensia, Dr. Wright says that “If we want a resilient world, we need to start with resilient data”, and that “it’s not just data for data’s sake. The same digital technologies we use to understand how the Earth works are also helping communities in very practical ways.” Two of her recommendations in the article are to be open to partnerships and to tell stories.
I couldn’t agree more. Many of these themes are what motivated us to write our GIS and Public Domain Data book and to write in this blog over these past four years. I also salute Dr. Wright’s recommendation that we must share not only our data, but workflows and use cases. In my own field of GIS education, I encounter this situation daily–educators, for example, need not just the data, but need to know how to use that data for teaching, learning, research, and campus administration.
Pitroda, S. 2013. Series Esri E380 Videos, ed. Esri International User Conference Plenary.